Potential No. 1 overall pick James Wiseman ruled ineligible at Memphis


Ballin said in a news conference that the NCAA had declared Wiseman ineligible to play at Memphis because head coach Penny Hardaway helped pay for Wiseman and his family's move from Nashville to Memphis back in high school. That qualifies Hardaway as a booster, in the NCAA's terms.

Wiseman's attorney filed a lawsuit against the NCAA on his behalf as a result of the ruling.

This story is breaking and will be updated.

Memphis will appeal the ruling, and the school announced Friday that Wiseman would play in the Tigers' game that night after a local court granted an "emergency temporary restraining order" to keep him on the court. They are working with the NCAA to "restore his playing status", per the release.

The scandal is freaky and complex but boils down to this. the NCAA claims ex-NBA star Penny Hardaway provided $11,500 in moving expenses to Wiseman's family in 2017.

This decision will have a major impact on the NBA's 2020 draft class.

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James Wiseman in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019, in Memphis, Tenn.

"Particularly given the unique circumstances in this case, we are hopeful for a fair and equitable resolution on James' eligibility", stated University of Memphis President M. David Rudd.

"The University of Memphis is enjoying a tremendous period of positive momentum and success on multiple fronts including the excitement surrounding our men's basketball program", said Memphis athletics director Laird Veatch. Well, it turns out that he's actually ineligible to play this year.

During the season opener for the Tigers, Wiseman had 28 points and 11 rebounds.

The university said Wiseman didn't know about the money given to his family. He then coached Wiseman at East High in 2017-18, was hired by Memphis, his alma mater, in the spring of 2018, and landed Wiseman's verbal commitment less than a year later.